Powerstop Extreme Brake Upgrade for 5th Gen 4Runner

Powerstop Extreme Brake Upgrade for 5th Gen 4Runner

Z36 Extreme Brake Pads and Evolution Rotors for 5th Generation 4Runner

If you are looking for an upgraded brake option on your 5th Gen 4Runner, you can go with factory brakes from the service center or a performance upgrade. Many owners out there will only go with factory brakes. This is a debated topic among many drivers out there, not just 4Runner world. To each their own, just do your research.

If you are looking at aftermarket brake upgrades, the Powerstop Extremes are one option. The Powerstop Extreme carbon fiber and ceramic brake pads, as well as upgraded drilled and slotted Zinc Evolution rotors come as a complete kit specifically for our generation 4Runner.

The Powerstop Extreme brake pads are made of carbon ceramic paired with their infused formula. The pads are also copper-free, with SB 346 standards (Issued by the Department of Toxic Substances Control). The Powerstop Extremes are thermal scorched for faster break-in. The rotors are made of Zinc and help to prevent rust during normal operation.

These brakes also utilize premium hardware and all necessary hardware is included in the kit.

Choosing between OEM/Factory and Performance Brakes?

This is our initial overview of price, not actual performance. We will see what happens in a few months and update the page.

Since August of 2014, we have pumped the brakes a few times on the 4Runner. We were in for our 40k service at the service center and they said we needed brakes. I got a quote on both turning the rotors and new rotors all the way around. The numbers and total costs are below.

Front Brakes (pads and turning rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $77.26
  • Machining both rotors, labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $277.25

Front Brakes (pads and new rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $77.26
  • New rotors $186.40 & labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $463.66

Rear Brakes (pads and turning rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $82.00
  • Machining both rotors, labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $281.99

Rear Brakes (pads and new rotors):

  • Brake Pads: $82.00
  • New rotors $233.74 & labor $199.99
  • TOTAL: $515.74

Total cost from Toyota Service Center 

  • Parts and labor machining = $559.24+ tax
  • Parts and labor with new rotors = $979.40+ tax
  • Rotors need to be ordered and will take 24 hours to arrive.

Z36 Brake Pads & Evolution Rotors: Around $400

In the kit, you get both sets of front brake pads, both sets of rear brake pads, and all four slotted and drilled rotors. You can install the whole kit in about 3-4 hours with two people, and basic shop tools. We swapped out the old brake pads and rotors in about 4-5 hours because we did some video and took photos along the way. We also threw on wheel spacers while the tires were off, but that was pretty quick.

It was a pretty easy install and there was no part of the install that took special tools. Basic shop tools will get the job done.

The Powerstop Extreme Z36 Brake Pads

Z36 Brake Pads 5th Gen 4Runner

We purchased a set of the Z36 extreme truck and tow brake pads for the front and rear 4Runner brakes. The Z36 extreme brake pads come with all of the cotter pins and rear mounting brackets you need as well as ceramic/silicone brake component lubricant for applying to the outsides of your brake pads.

Evolution Rotors

Powerstop Evolution Rotors 5th Gen 4Runner

The Powerstop Evolution performance drilled and slotted rotors are designed with precision machining and castings. All of Powerstop rotors are engineered from OEM specs.

The Powerstop rotors feature beveled drilled holes which keep your rotor and pad temperatures down during extreme braking. The rounded slots help to keep a constant patch between the pad on the rotor as well as sweeping away gases, dust, and debris.

The rotors are also zinc plated, except for the hub assembly. The zinc plated rotors help to prevent rust during normal operation.

This is what Powerstop says

Evolution Rotors

The Powerstop extreme brake pads and rotors are designed for tow and truck performance. This means that the brake pads and rotors are the designed around weight and performance stopping under extreme load ratings.

Whether you are towing a trailer or a boat, you are overloaded with weight, or you simply have larger tires, the Powerstop Extremes are designed for your application.

With extra weight, heavier tow loads, or extreme stopping with factory brake pads and rotors, you may experience brake fade or even extended stopping distances. The Z36 truck and tow pads in this kit are made using a proprietary carbon fiber and ceramic content compound.

The carbon fibers reinforce the pad compound which helps to prevent heat and increase stopping power. The ceramic makeup provides superior resistance for common OEM brake fade and reduces annoying brakes squeal and dust. The Z36 brake pads claim to reduce dust as well as common brake squeal issues with OEM and aftermarket brakes.

Again, this is what Powerstop says about their Brakes. We will see how the hold up compared to the factory setup.

Break-in procedure (Brake Pad Bedding)

Brake pad bedding is the process of gradually applying heat to your pads and rotors.

After your Z36 brake pads and Evolution rotors have been installed you want to follow a break-in procedure upon initially driving your 4Runner. This break in procedure is common on most aftermarket performance brake kits.

The first phase of the break-in is five aggressive deacceleration brakes from 40mph down to 10mph back to back. Speed up to 40mph and brake, let off when your odometer reaches 10mph. Repeat this step 4 more times.

You do not want to come to a complete stop. Upon this first phase of break-in procedure, the rotors will be very hot and if you do come to a complete stop the pad may create an imprint on the rotor, which causes DTV (Disc Thickness Variation) Issues. Again it is in very important not to come to a complete stop.

The second phase of breaking in your brakes is five moderate deacceleration brakes from 35 miles an hour to 5 miles an hour back to back without letting the brakes cool down. At this point, you should expect to smell some break resin as the brake pads get hot.

The third phase of the break-in procedure is driving around slowly to let your brakes cool down for around five minutes, and you may want to go a little longer without breaking. This phase of the break-in procedure allows your the heated resin in the brake pads to cool and cure.

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Charles E Abbott II
Charles E Abbott II
2 years ago

I installed the z36 on my 4runner two days ago and completed the recommended break-in procedure. Now I’m getting ready to install the rear z36 pads and rotors but since this vehicle has the drum style e-brake inside the rotor assembly and given the fact that the majority of the stopping power is handled by the front set is the brake-in period the same? Or is it necessary to do it at all or is there just a different procedure all together? I also have the exact same Sydertrax wheel spacers on my truck. I am going to be installing Bilstein 5100 front and rear shocks and was curious if you have any profile pictures of your truck? thank you in advance for any help.



3 years ago

I ran these rotors and pads for about 2 years and 34k miles, just under the warranty expiration point. Mechanic took them off yesterday and showed me pads had worn out unevenly and some even failed completely. Holes and slots in the rotors got built up with brake dust so badly and couldn’t be cleaned out that they chewed through the pads quickly. Not sure I would recommend but glad you had good luck with them. Maybe I just got a bad batch in 2018 but hopefully this isn’t the case for everybody here. Going back to solid rotors for now, got 65k miles out of the OEM rotors and pads.

Couldn’t upload pictures because files were too big

Last edited 3 years ago by JFIZZ
4 years ago

I recently installed the 4Runner Kit and so far so good. Haven’t seen any break dust yet. I’ve had some “opportunities” To test these out recently and they are tight!

4 years ago

Hey guys! I am in need to change out my rusted calipers on my 5th gen 4runner due to the high amount of salt present during our canadian winters… I saw the complete kit from power stop when it comes to the pads, rotors and even rear powder coated calipers but no luck on the front ones. The only option I see would be the purchase brand new calipers from toyota and have them powder coated but I feel like I would spending a little too much with that method. I wanted to know if you guys have any recommendations for powder coated front calipers in the online market? I definitely do not want to cheap out on brakes but I do not want to waste too much money either. Powerstop didn’t answer my email so I am honestly coming here to get some proper help!

Thank you

4 years ago

Curious what your 1 year thoughts are on these? I need to get new brakes figured I would upgrade…

Ive read people dont use the supplied hardware and just use the OEM… Curious what you did.

Michael Millitello @summit4runner
Michael Millitello @summit4runner
5 years ago

Definitely going to need a set of these soon! A few thousand miles ago my brakes started to shutter quite a bit when braking hard and especially when braking at high speeds or down hill. I think what attributed to this was some off-roading and some rocks getting wedged in the brakes because there are ruts worn into the discs. Also, I think my mechanic may not have broken them in properly as there has always been a bit of a jitter when braking. Hopefully these new brakes will resolve the issue, I will update when I replace them.

Ronell B Batulayan
Ronell B Batulayan
5 years ago

What is your 6th month assessment on these pads & rotors?

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